|New England Revolution 4, FC Dallas 2
Steve Ralston scores game-winning goal and adds two assists as Revs post 13th win of the season
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Revs captain Steve Ralston scored the game-winning goal and added two assists to lead the New England Revolution to a 4-2 victory over FC Dallas on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Ralston assisted on both of Pat Noonan’s goals on the evening and then struck the game-winning tally in the 78th minute. Carlos Ruiz scored both of Dallas’ goals.
With the win, New England (13-6-6, 45 pts.) swept the season series with Dallas (12-9-3, 39 pts.) - winning both meetings - and pushing its all-time record against the Hoops to 19-9-1.
The Revs opened the game strong and held possession for much of the first half, yet the score stood at 1-1 at the half. New England - playing under the direction of assistant coach Paul Mariner while head coach Steve Nicol served a one-game suspension for being dismissed from Sunday’s match against D.C. - out-scored Dallas 3-1 in the second half, including two goals in the final 15 minutes of the frame to seal the victory.
The Revolution took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute when Noonan flicked a shot past Dallas keeper Dario Sala. Ralston pushed a short pass out to his left to Khano Smith, who was running on down the wing. His first-time cross found Noonan near the edge of the goal box, where he put the shot on with the outside of his right foot for his sixth goal of the year.
The lead as short-lived, however, as Dallas equalized in the 35th minute. Dax McCarty sent a free kick in from 40 yards out on the right wing, finding Carlos Ruiz in the six-yard box. Ruiz’s headed shot floated over Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis, who misjudged the free kick and was out of the goal and off his line.
Coming out of halftime tied at 1-1, the Revs picked up play and netted the go-ahead goal in the 65th minute. Jeff Larentowicz put Ralston through in the penalty area where he sent the ball back to Noonan streaking into the play. Noonan launched a right-footed shot from 12 yards to the upper left corner of the net, putting the Revs ahead for the second time in the game.
Ralston added to the Revs’ lead in the 78th minute when he tapped in the rebound of his own blocked shot. Andy Dorman put a low cross in from the left which Sala met, but he bobbled it and the ball came loose. Taylor Twellman ended up with the ball on the goal’s doorstep, but passed to Ralston unmarked just off the right post. Ralston’s first shot was blocked by a diving Sala, but he was able to get to the rebound for the team’s third goal of the night.
Ruiz cut New England’s lead to one goal in the 84th minute, elevating over James Riley to head in a Dominic Oduro cross from the right as the team came down the field on a counter.
In the final minute of regulation, Smith struck for his first goal of the season - a 23-yard left-footed rocket that beat Sala on the near post to push the score to its final 4-2. Twellman and Adam Cristman were pushing ahead with the ball when Twellman’s pass to Cristman was intercepted by Dallas’ defense. The clearance though went left to Smith running down on the wing, allowing him the one-on-one opportunity with Sala.
The Revs return to action on Saturday, Sept. 22, when they travel to face the New York Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m. at Giants Stadium. The game will be televised by TV38, and the clubs’ reserve squads will meet immediately after the first-team game.
FC Dallas (12-9-3, 39 pts.) at New England Revolution (13-6-6, 45 pts.)
September 15, 2007 - Foxborough, Mass. (Gillette Stadium)
NE - Pat Noonan (Khano Smith, Steve Ralston) 29
FCD - Carlos Ruiz (Dax McCarty) 35
NE - Pat Noonan (Steve Ralston, Jeff Larentowicz) 65
NE - Steve Ralston (unassisted) 78
FCD - Carlos Ruiz (Dominic Oduro) 84
NE - Khano Smith (unassisted) 90
FC Dallas: Dario Sala, Clarence Goodson, Drew Moor, Aaron Pitchkolan, David Wagenfuhr (Dominic Oduro 83), Pablo Ricchetti, Anthony Wallace (Arturo Alvarez 69), Denilson, Dax McCarty, Abe Thompson, Carlos Ruiz
Substitutes Not Used: Ray Burse, Ricardinho, Chris Gbandi, Bobby Rhine, Alex Yi
STATS: Shots 10 (Thompson, Denilson 3); Shots on Goal 6 (Ruiz, Thompson 2); Saves 5 (Sala 5); Corner Kicks 5 (Denilson, McCarty 2); Offsides 4 (four players 1); Fouls Suffered 17 (Denilson, Ruiz 4); Fouls Committed 7 (Wallace, Moor 2)
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Avery John, Michael Parkhurst, James Riley, Steve Ralston ©, Shalrie Joseph, Jeff Larentowicz, Khano Smith, Andy Dorman, Taylor Twellman, Pat Noonan (Adam Cristman 79)
Substitutes Not Used: Doug Warren, Jay Heaps, Gary Flood, Marshall Leonard, Chris Loftus, Sainey Nyassi, Wells Thompson
STATS: Shots 13 (Noonan 3); Shots on Goal 9 (Noonan 3); Saves 3 (Reis 3); Corner Kicks 5 (Ralston 4); Offsides 3 (three players 1); Fouls Suffered 7 (Smith 2); Fouls Committed 17 (Joseph 5)
FCD - Carlos Ruiz (caution) 57
NE - Adam Cristman (caution) 83
NE - Shalrie Joseph (caution) 86
NE - Matt Reis (caution) 88
Referee: Kevin Stott
Referee’s Assistants: Rob Fereday (SAR), Adam Wienckoswski (JAR)
Fourth Official: Niko Bratsis
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly cloudy and 62 degrees
- Pat Noonan’s two-goal effort was his sixth-career multiple goal game, and his first two-goal outing since June 22, 2005 in a 3-1 victory against Columbus
- Steve Ralston’s two-assist night was his third of the season and the 20th multiple-assist match of his 12-year career … he pushed his MLS career assists record to 118 with his two assists on Saturday
- Although he was not on the bench for Saturday’s game while serving a one-game suspension, Revs head coach Steve Nicol was still credited with the win and improved his career MLS coaching record to 74-53-45 … Nicol is ranked ninth in MLS history in coaching victories
- Khano Smith’s goal was his first of the season and his first goal since he netted the game-winning strike in a 1-0 victory against Columbus at Gillette Stadium in the 2006 regular-season finale
- The 4-2 victory marked the team’s 13th multiple-goal game this season, tied for second in MLS … the Revs are also tied for second in the league with Chivas USA for second in three-goal games this season (eight)
- The Revs improved their home record to 7-2-4 this season and 7-1-2 on the FieldTurf surface (0-1-2 on temporary grass surface)
- The Revs regained second place in the overall MLS standings, four points back of first-place D.C. United … Western Conference leader Chivas USA is third with 43 points, but has two games in hand on the Revs and three on United